Fixed-gear knee health

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no_gears_no_tears
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Fixed-gear knee health

Postby no_gears_no_tears » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:51 pm

Hi,
Why do people constantly say that riding a fixed-gear bicycle without brakes (fixed-gear riding with brakes can be very benificial for knee health) is bad for your knees. The majority of cyclists who ride fixies do it for fun - countless skids and bunny-hops, most of the time without proper foot retention - not to mention alot of those riders are running gear ratios over 75 GI. Riding like that will cause problems, but if you run a low gear ratio, have a correctly fitted bike with proper foot retention, and avoid excessive skidding and hard backpedalling - then surely you wouldn't run into the knee trouble unless knee problems are common in your family.
Riding fixed does put more strain on your knees, but running also puts strain on your knees and many people have been running for decades, so why do so many people write fixed-gear off as being bad for your joint health?
Cheers

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Thoglette
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because pushing a too big gear with a bad bike fit blows up knees.

Postby Thoglette » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:09 pm

no_gears_no_tears wrote:why do so many people write fixed-gear off as being bad for your joint health?


Because it is if you put the usual "heroic" gearing that is popular on your first bike. Particularly if you then combine it with a too-low seat.

Out-of-practice knees, too-tall gearing and too-low seats will almost always result in knee injury, regardless of how many gears you have or whether they're fixed or free. Brakes have nothing to do with it either.

It's the reason that under-age track racers are limited in the gears they're allowed to use.

Note that (today) this topic is the very first reference on the Wikipedia page on bicycle gearing. It's nothing new. In fact, my favourite search engine found thirty year old medical journals explaining this (Faria IE., Sports Med. 1984 May-Jun;1(3):187-204. Applied physiology of cycling. ) in under five seconds. Less time than it took to type this.
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no_gears_no_tears
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Re: because pushing a too big gear with a bad bike fit blows up knees.

Postby no_gears_no_tears » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:56 pm

Thoglette wrote:
no_gears_no_tears wrote:why do so many people write fixed-gear off as being bad for your joint health?

Brakes have nothing to do with it either.

Riding without brakes means you have to skid and back pedal to stop and puts more force on your knees. Once you build up the muscles needed to skid and to effectivly back pedal its not a problem. Alot of cyclists injure themselves when riding without brakes.

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Thoglette
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Re: because pushing a too big gear with a bad bike fit blows up knees.

Postby Thoglette » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:50 pm

no_gears_no_tears wrote:Riding without brakes means you have to skid and back pedal to stop and puts more force on your knees. Once you build up the muscles needed to skid and to effectivly back pedal its not a problem. Alot of cyclists injure themselves when riding without brakes.

Sounds like you've found the answer to your original question.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

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no_gears_no_tears
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Re: because pushing a too big gear with a bad bike fit blows up knees.

Postby no_gears_no_tears » Fri Jan 26, 2018 6:53 pm

Thoglette wrote:
no_gears_no_tears wrote:Riding without brakes means you have to skid and back pedal to stop and puts more force on your knees. Once you build up the muscles needed to skid and to effectivly back pedal its not a problem. Alot of cyclists injure themselves when riding without brakes.

Sounds like you've found the answer to your original question.

No my original question was why do people think that fixies are bad for your knees when there not - is there a reason that I don't know about.
I also just wanted to hear what other people had to say about this.

NASHIE
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Re: because pushing a too big gear with a bad bike fit blows up knees.

Postby NASHIE » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:35 pm

no_gears_no_tears wrote:
Thoglette wrote:
no_gears_no_tears wrote:Riding without brakes means you have to skid and back pedal to stop and puts more force on your knees. Once you build up the muscles needed to skid and to effectivly back pedal its not a problem. Alot of cyclists injure themselves when riding without brakes.

Sounds like you've found the answer to your original question.

No my original question was why do people think that fixies are bad for your knees when there not - is there a reason that I don't know about.
I also just wanted to hear what other people had to say about this.


The first 2 sentences in Thoglette first post answer your question. Mashing big gears for most people wrecks knees. I was a masher when racing and while trained had no issues. But 25yrs on and I'm paying the price.

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mikesbytes
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Re: Fixed-gear knee health

Postby mikesbytes » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:48 pm

Hi no_gears_no_tears, I'm finding your post confusing.

It sounds to me that you are making a statement as to whether fixie riding is bad for you knees and also saying that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong

I'm assuming I have misunderstood you

What do you want us to do?
If the R-1 rule is broken, what happens to N+1?

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no_gears_no_tears
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Re: Fixed-gear knee health

Postby no_gears_no_tears » Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:10 pm

mikesbytes wrote: also saying that anyone who disagrees with you is wrong

Sorry, I didn't wan't to come across as that type of person. I never intended to force my opinons on other people. The reason I created this thread was to point out some reasons why I think riding fixed brakeless isn't as bad as some people think, and for anyone to point out over reasons why riding brakeless is/isn't as bad as many people think.

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